blankets of love

It is a big deal for me to knit a blanket. A knitted blanket is an investment of time, of money, of yarn. To commit to such a project requires a strong desire to show the knitter's love, or at least compassion, for the recipient. (I say "compassion" because I've made blankets for Afghans for Afghans, which isn't exactly out of love, since I don't know anyone personally who has received them.)

I don't often knit blankets (see above re: required time commitment), but when I do, it's because I feel so strongly that the recipient needs to be wrapped in warmth and love that it's impossible for me to do otherwise. When my SIL was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma (that was before she and my brother got married, but that doesn't matter now), I made her a blanket. Last summer when my next door neighbor was diagnosed with breast cancer, I made her a blanket. I've made/organized a few blankets for Afghans for Afghans (this one and this one and this one).

And now, I find myself on another blanket-knitting jag. There's a baby due in July, and the mom-to-be is a longtime friend of my husband; they were fellow missionary kids in South Africa. About a week and a half ago, I had the irrepressible urge to knit a blanket for this expectant babe, and then when my kids got sick and stayed sick then I spent five hours in the ER with Daniel, I got the thing done. It's had a good soak and blocking today, and tomorrow I will try to get some photos in the daylight hours. It's lovely

But that's not all. I have a dear, dear uncle who very recently had surgery to remove a tumor that was putting pressure on his spine, and then he was diagnosed with lymphoma. He is one of the gentlest people I know, and he's always been so physically strong. He is a lifelong farmer and carpenter who has spent his working life growing wheat, raising animals and building houses. Now he has to undergo physical therapy just to walk normally, and this week started chemotherapy. I just can't picture him in a hospital. I can only see him in his jeans and work boots with his sweet grin quietly beating the pants off anyone foolish enough to play a card game with him...because did I mention he's brilliant, too? And can work puzzles as fast as anyone and can win any game - any game - you play with him on his first try?

I started a blanket for him:

At first I had planned on using my old standby, a chunky basketweave pattern I have as a free pattern in the sidebar (not that it's really so original, but I didn't use anyone else's pattern, so I'm calling it mine...) Then I thought I'd try something a little different, and I found the Garter Stitch Blanket by Elizabeth Zimmerman in The Opinionated Knitter (amazingly enough, I can't find a link to that book on!)

It seemed perfect when I started last night - lots of comforting garter stitch, clever construction - but even though I've just started I'm pretty sure I won't have enough yarn. I've got 11 skeins of Northampton Bulky I bought for a sweater that never materialized. I thought that ought to be plenty but knowing how garter stitch eats up yardage, I'm hesitant to get going on a project that I may not have enough yarn to finish. I could order more, but it would be a different dyelot by now. I could go with a different color, but somehow it only seems right to use one color. I prefer the look of it. I'm quite sure if I went to an LYS they wouldn't have enough bulky yarn of one color for a whole blanket. Plus, buying more yarn when I have so much already (the very week our car died and we'll need to buy another!) just isn't as much as I'd like to do the EZ blanket, as much as I really, really want to, it's probably best for reasons of time and economy to make the quicker, less yarn-consuming basketweave blanket I'd originally planned on.


Anonymous said…
Wow, that's a beautiful pattern--and all done in garter stitch!
Could you do some of it in color?
revknits said…
I love that EZ blanket, but it does eat yarn. Blessings for your uncle, he sounds like a guy a lot like my dad was.
revknits said…
I love that EZ blanket, but it does eat yarn. Blessings for your uncle, he sounds like a guy a lot like my dad was.

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